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Measuring Your Potential (experiment)

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  • Measuring Your Potential (experiment)

    I figured this might be the best place to try a little experiment of mine, but I need volunteers!

    For those that know me, I am a little obsessed with swing speed. Don't get me wrong, I know that its not everything, but I have a philosophy of sorts, so if you want to know what that is, I would invite you to read my other thread below. If you don't care or already have read it, then please read on.

    https://golfsimulatorforum.com/forum...ght-golf-swing

    My theory:

    Golf clubs get harder to swing well with increasing length. This is due, I think, to our swing flaws and inefficiencies showing more in those longer clubs, as well as the inertia of the club increasing. My theory is, that if you can measure the swing speed with a very short club (which I believe negates most of a person's swing inefficiencies due to low inertia and length), you can easily calculate what your swing speed potential is with any other club.

    The experiment:

    In order to find out if there is any validity to this, I ask for volunteers that are able to, to perform the following experiment.

    Get on a Trackman, or use any device that you know measures swing speed accurately (or at least consistently and with known offset to an actual speed). Take your shortest club and choke all the way down to the bottom of the grip. Proceed to hit balls, but hit them with as fast of a swing as you can produce. Do this many times, and note your fastest swing speed (take an average as well if you want). Make sure you throw out any obvious outliers. Next, measure your club from the heel to top of your left hand where the butt of the grip would be if the club was really as short as your choking down is making it seem (if you are a lefty, measure to the top of your right hand). You can now take this number and use it to calculate what your potential driver swing speed could be. (Note: if you don't have a reliable way to measure swing speed, but have a Skytrack or GC2 and want to try this, I have a calculator I made that takes your ball numbers and converts it pretty accurately into a swing speed, just send me a PM with your numbers or I can direct you to the thread so you can download it)

    I would ask you post your results along with your known current driver speed. Please don't worry about your ego and such in posting, nobody on here really cares how slow or fast you are compared to anyone else. The point of this is to hopefully show everyone they can do more than what they currently think they can.

    An Example:

    Fully choked down on my lob wedge, my effective club length is about 33.5 inches from heel of the club to where the butt of the club would be if I lopped it off just above my left hand. I can all out swing that club at a peak speed of 103 mph. Now, if I use some simple math, I can guess around how fast I could swing my driver if I had as efficient of a swing as I can produce.

    103 mph/33.5 inch = 3.075 mph/inch, 3.075 mph/inch X 44 inch = 135 mph.

    Currently, when I feel like I am swinging well, I can legitimately get 125 mph with my driver on Trackman. I know however that I do have some major flaws that could increase that another 4-5 mph and also make my speed more consistent. I would guess then, that for me, the increasing inertia of the longer driver lowers my max ceiling by about 5 mph. So, the realistic equation would be the following...

    ((Shorty Swing Speed/Shorty Club Length) X (Driver Club Length)) X 0.963 = Max Possible Clubhead Speed

    This might differ more for different people, but I think this will roughly capture whether or not you are leaving speed on the table.

    Why I propose you do this:

    There is currently no good way to determine a person's peak speed and where it peaks at. I know that I can vary over 15 mph due to technique alone. I dump all of that speed a foot behind the ball, sometimes more, or I don't sync up my body and its even slower and is lost in wasted movement or some other thing. I theorize that nearly everyone can swing a short club to nearly max efficiency just due to the lack of inertia. As club length goes up, you can no longer get away with any inefficencies and it shows via loss of club speed and often in poor contact. With this, I think you will potentially open your eyes to how fast your body can actually go, or see that you are or aren't living up to your potential.

  • #2
    Interesting post...I do think your numbers may be a bit off...135 mph swing speed? The highest measured swing last year on tour was 129 from what I saw. The tour average is about 114 mph. I know what is important is different to each individual. Bottom line it comes down to scoring. Can you elaborate a bit more on how it would benefit someone knowing they can swing the club faster?

    Comment


    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      That is basically what I am saying, but of course a person should not make that their whole range session. I'd say at the end of a range session, hit 5 golf balls at 100% with each club, maybe a few more with the driver. If your swing is efficient, you won't feel nearly as much fatigue as you would if you have a really inefficent swing. Swing faster not harder is my motto.

      When I am swinging well, I can hit for as long as I want almost with almost no fatigue. I am only 35 so this could be different for older golfers. Whenever I am swinging poorly, I get tired quickly. My speed drops extremely low (low for me), down to maybe 110 with the driver. You also are less likley I think, to injure yourself if your swing is as efficient as it can be. Your swing should also be quite accurate when it is that efficient. All you have to do is dial it back a little and you have a repeatable, almost as fast as you can swing, swing. When my swing is good, I can go at it as fast as I want and make great contact and hit my target, when I have a bad day, I can't go after it, or when I try its really not any faster and its usually horrible contact.

      The idea is, you can swing as hard as you can (even if your swing is terribly inefficient) with a really short club and still maintain most of your max speed at the ball. This can help someone see how much improving swing technique and efficiency can improve their speed with the longer clubs. It can be dramatic, it has been for me and I am not even yet to where I think I can be.

      Edit: I would also say, the more you are able to practice at 100%, the more your muscles will strengthen and the more your muscles will learn to fire fast. 5 years ago I started out swinging driver at about 105 max, it only took me a season or 2 to be around 115-120, and another few years of practicing to reach where I am now. I almost always finished my range session by swinging as fast as I could for as many balls as I could. I experimented with techniques that improved my speed and efficiency, and I obtained just faster firing muscles by doing so. I still have a ways to go before I am consistent and where I want to be but its getting there. Others might get there a lot faster than me, especially if you are young and still moldable. Its hard when you have 15 years of bad habits to undo.

      I would love to see your results. Thank you!
      Last edited by Clevited; 12-04-2017, 09:47 PM.

    • rhart
      rhart commented
      Editing a comment
      You said the key word "efficient". Swinging harder doesn't necessarily equate to more club head speed. Do you happen to have a video of your swing? I would like to see how you are able to generate so much club head speed.

    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      I can certainly send you a PM with a YouTube link if you like. I prefer to keep videos/pictures whatever of myself private, so if you could please not repost I would appreciate it. I will also look through my high speed camera for some more recent versions of my swing, I change things in my swing like I change my underwear lol. I enjoy testing things out, the golf swing is so wonderfully complicated.

  • #3
    Haha...absolutely please do pm me. I wouldn't share it or repost it. I am just interested as I enjoy breaking down swings. The golf swing is highly complicated and there are many ways to get the club head from point a to b.

    Comment


    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      I sent PM, another person asked to see them last week so I had them on hand. I will look for some newer ones with driver. Not sure if I have any on my camera but I will look tonight. If you take a look at my other thread I posted a link to, it might explain more of my evolution, theory and current swing issues I am aware of.

  • #4
    Hey man, I’d love to see the swing as well. No ill will intended, I have to say I’ve been interested in your swing for a few months now. I too promise to not share. You should have my email but if not, pm and I’ll get it to you.

    Comment


    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      Sure. Its nothing currently to be proud of but when I can make it work, I can give it everything I've got and hit pretty well. Then a day goes by, and bam, I suck again lol.

      You should consider trying my little experiment
      Last edited by Clevited; 12-05-2017, 05:42 AM.

  • #5
    I can try to get it to you. Would be interesting. I can measure with hmt

    Comment


    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent, I am looking forward to seeing your numbers.

  • #6
    Ok my average club head speed with my 60 degree choked down was 82.2 mph. So that number divided by 32.5" would be 2.5292. That number multiplied by 45.5" is 115.08.

    Comment


    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      So if you really go after one, is 111 doable for you? From all of the published data I see, most people have about 2-5 mph extra in them them beyond what a typical smooth swing would be for them.

      Edit: Essentially, if my little experiment holds true, your numbers tell me your body has the potential to produce a PEAK driver swing speed of somewhere at or perhaps a little above 111 mph. Take about 95 percent of that to be a typical smooth swing (it can be as high as 98 percent or as low as 90 percent for some. I estimate this based on all of the pga data I have studied). That would put you around 105-106 for a potential average smooth swing.

      If that jives to you, it looks to me like you are almost maximizing your potential and have a very efficient swing.
      Last edited by Clevited; 12-06-2017, 04:55 PM.

    • rhart
      rhart commented
      Editing a comment
      It is probably doable yes...I would probably blow what's left of my back out...but it would be doable...ha

    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      Awesome! I must have been posting at the same time you were. I added an edit to my previous comment. Looks like my formula is at least quite realistic for you. I hope to get some other low handicappers to post some data as well as high handicappers.

  • #7
    If there are any of you with the means to test this, I would really appreciate the help.

    To summarize the experiment:

    Take shortest club you have (wedge), choke down to the end of the grip and get on a Trackman or any device that measures accurate swing speed and record your highest swing speed (make sure you get fully warmed up and hit many shots, keep trying to increase your speed) but be sure to throw out any obvious outliers.

    Record your fastest speed in mph, and the effective length of your choked down club (measure from heel of club to where grip end would be if it were cut off right above your top hand).

    After you are done, post on here or PM me the following :

    1) Highest swing speed in mph of the choked up club
    2) Effective length in inches of said club when choked up
    3) Your driver length in inches as measured from heel to end of grip
    4) Your current peak driver speed when you really go after one.
    5) Your calculated max potential using this formula:

    ((Shorty Swing Speed/Shorty Club Length) X (Driver Club Length)) X 0.963 = Max Possible Clubhead Speed

    I can do the math for you if math of any kind just hurts your head to look at lol. I understand believe me.

    Comment


    • #8
      Here is some data so far. Just a couple so far have chimed in, and I have 2 others that said they will test. Thank you to those that have posted, given me data or have informed me they plan to.

      1) Scratch golfer, known average driver speed is 104 mph. 82.2 mph wedge, 32.5 inches long, 45.5 inch driver, I calculate 110.8 mph max driver speed. Tester confirmed this to be a realistic maximum for them.
      2) Unknown handicap, known average driver speed is 110 mph. 85 mph wedge, 32 inches long, 44 inch driver, I calculate 112.5 mph max driver speed. Tester confirmed this to be a realistic maximum for them. I suspect this particular person could be even higher though.
      3) Me, ~15 handicap (if i finally pick a swing I might actually improve ha), known max driver speed 125.7. 103 mph wedge, 33 inches long, 44 inch driver. I calculate 132.3 mph max driver speed. Doesn't quite jive. If this formula turns out to be true across a larger sample of good golfers, I suspect I have inefficiencies to correct.

      So far interesting results. I am hoping to understand how inertia and mass of the golf club effects us as the club gets longer. I suspect right now that its impossible to cacluate swing speed potential with just a ratio of club lengths, hence my little constant in the equation. I want to solve for this constant. Hopefully it is pretty uniform as club length goes up.

      Comment


      • #9
        I have a little update to post.

        So along with my theory about how to measure your maximum potential and thus swing efficiency from shortest to longest, I have been using some work tools in my free time to try and model the basic golf swing motion and see the differences between a low inertia short club vs a high inertia long club. I just completed what will be my first attempt to unveil what is going on and I came across what should have been common sense results to me.

        Summary of Results

        Essentially, the mass between a wedge and a driver is moot as far as our abilities to accelerate it. My wedge for instance weighs 1.1 lb, and my driver weights .75 lb. These are essentially the same in the grand scheme of things. We are using two arms and our entire body weights to move this very small mass, we will not notice that weight change much. If anything, the mass change would help swing the driver faster.

        The inertias however, are very different. This is caused by the added length of the club and where the mass is located relative to your wrist pivot point. The driver has much higher inertia than the wedge does. This inertia however, only really comes into effect, it seems, at the last moment in a really efficient swing. The club essentially is not pivoting around the wrist joint for most of the arm acceleration phase, but then unleashes all of is rotational energy in the last few 10ths of a second before impact. That means that for the majority of the swing, only mass really plays a big role, and since they are almost the same, we should be able to accelerate them to roughtly the same speed. The only issue there, and I will dive into this more in my next little experiment, is right at the end of the swing where the club pivots around the wrist and impacts the ball, the longer club will resist that motion more than the wedge and that could hypothetically slow it down some. This will likely end up changing my flat .963 efficency multiplyer to a dynamic multiplyer based on length of club (It would actually be more complicated than that because every club is a little different inertia wise, but for the sake of being simple, I will do it this way unless I find it can be WAY off).

        If you look at the two videos below, Jamie's swing naturally holds the club angle until the last possible moment, which I theorize allows him to accelerate the club unimpeded by its inertia until the last possible moment in time. Jordans swing causes a loss in that angle earlier than Jamie. It ends up probably impeding his efficiency to some degree. There really are not too many tour pro's that lose that angle very early, but there is a stark difference between what is likely one of the most efficient swings in the world vs a top pro. There are of course other ways to lose efficency, like being tense in the wrists or arms, early extension flip, shallow to steep etc. I am just trying to capture the effects of the golf club on the ideal swing, and the ideal swing seems to show it is effected very little by the golf club speed wise.

        Jamie
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1kUkgOSuyM

        Jordan Spieth
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6J90AgGetc

        I won't know for sure just how much the inertia in that last moment rotation of the club about the wrists effects club speed until I get some data from a professional I have contacted. He has a very efficient swing (from looking at videos), and also swings VERY fast, so it should be a very good measuring stick for my theory. I will also try to capture what is happening with my tools at work.




        Comment


        • #10
          Clevited, I keep forgetting to get you my data when I am on the sim. Do you still want mine?

          Comment


          • #11
            Yes please. So you don't have to search it again I need.

            Fast as you can choked up to bottom of grip wedge. With hmt make sure you take a middle hit, toe or heal can mess with this a little. Doesn't have to be a perfect strike, could be bladed but middle bladed if you know what I mean. Try this as many times as you can, try and produce your fastest possible speed.

            Need wedge length when choked up.
            Need your driver length.
            Need your currently known max driver speed.

            In your case, if you could get me both max wedge and driver during same session that would be ideal.

            Comment


            • #12
              Originally posted by Clevited
              Yes please. So you don't have to search it again I need.

              Fast as you can choked up to bottom of grip wedge. With hmt make sure you take a middle hit, toe or heal can mess with this a little. Doesn't have to be a perfect strike, could be bladed but middle bladed if you know what I mean. Try this as many times as you can, try and produce your fastest possible speed.

              Need wedge length when choked up.
              Need your driver length.
              Need your currently known max driver speed.

              In your case, if you could get me both max wedge and driver during same session that would be ideal.
              I will video it and give you several to look at. Thanks!👍

              Comment


              • Clevited
                Clevited commented
                Editing a comment
                Awesome, I am looking forward to it thanks!

              • Stingreye
                Stingreye commented
                Editing a comment
                PM Sent wtih data. I have video but.... its ugly! I cant' hit a 60* choked down full out apparently.

            • #13
              I did a little more research last night and here is what I feel are some truths surrounding this experiment. (Forgive me for this being sort of a monologue, but I do know some are as nerdy as me about this and have some genuine interest in what I find.)

              Contrary to what I thought going into this, club inertia doesn't differ nearly as much as I thought it did in a typical off the shelf golf set. The inertias of clubs are actually very similar when swung at their full length. In my case, my driver actually has lower inertia than my wedge when both are swung at full length (not choked up). My driver is also lighter than my wedge over all. Barring some custom clubs, this should be similar across the board.

              This bodes well for the simple equation I am using. I backsolved that 0.963 multiplyer based on my own swing, as well as others. I couldnt' however, make sense of why it was that number and why it was that number regardless of what club you are trying to guess your max speed is for. What I found was that when you choke up on your wedge, the inertia of it is much lower than any other club in your bag swung at full length, and since each club when swung at full length has about the same inertia, this means that multiplyer is relevant for every club in the bag. I have also since back solved the multiplyer to be closer to 0.95 than 0.963. Not a big change but is significant enough.

              I feel pretty confident the following is accurate now. (I will know for sure pending some pro data I am hoping to get in the near future)

              ((Shorty Swing Speed/Shorty Club Length) X (Club Length to Estimate Speed of)) X 0.95 = Max Possible Clubhead Speed For That Club

              This should be quite accurate for most people, but again, significant club weighting/inertia differences can change this. For instance, from my research, I estimate that for every 11 grams of weight reduction in a club's weight, you can gain 1 mph of clubhead speed. This only works if the balance point of the club doesn't change its location. You can potentially improve that effect even more if the balance point moves, but only if it moves closer to your hands. If it moves further away, it will work to limit your speed.

              If you need help visualizing what is happening, the golf swing is like a merry go round. If a kid is sitting in the center of the merry go round, it can spin very fast, but as soon as that kid moves to outer portion of the merry go round, it will slow down quickly. The kid represents the CG of your club (balance point) and its location on the merry go round is the location on your club. The closer to the end of your club the harder it is to swing fast. This is why its important in the golf swing technique that the club releases as late as possible to conserve and amplify the clubhead speed at the ball. It doesn't take much at all to slow you down a TON. Swinging your choked up club reduces the chances of this type of thing occuring, and allows for more of your maximum speed to be at the ball, thus measuring what you can truly reach speed wise. For so many of us, our peak speed occurs a few inches behind the ball and we don't really know it, nor do we know how much that reduces overall swing speed at the ball. I suspect it can be anywhere between 5 and 10 mph depending on when we dump the speed.

              Remember that the purpose of this is to allow anyone to measure their swing potential and swing efficiency as club length increases. The idea is, that choking up on your shortest club, will allow you to brute force the club to at or near the maximum speed your body can produce (at the ball) in its current state for that club. Then using the above equation, your can solve for your potential clubhead speed should you have or maintain as efficient of a swing as is possible with that club. A benefit as well is that its easier to swing a short club indoors than a driver for practice, its really easy to see improvement in your swing speed with the short club than it is a longer club simply because our swing flaws seem to get amplified by it and it can just make us write off a potentially good change.

              This thread is all about speed and not how good at golf you are. I firmly believe that most everyone can swing much faster than they currently do if they practice doing it. Not all can practice however as much as needed due to age, injury or whatever but you get the idea. The more you practice swinging fast, the more your muscles learn to fire fast, the more you learn to control it. Its that simple, but it does take a lot of effort, and it takes some humble pie because often you will get worse at golf before you get better if you take on such an endeavor.

              Comment


              • #14
                Update:

                So I am still waiting on my pro to get back to me. He is a very busy guy and I hate to bug him as he is doing me a huge favor, but I have pretty well proven what I have set out to prove, let me explain.

                I have a swing speed radar. It works great, but, its hard to know what part of the club it is reading. If you have a significantly shut face through impace, it can pick up that toe closing and give you a very high number. You can also accidently catch ball speed by accident, etc etc. Its very hard to know whether you made a change that gave you more speed at the ball or just a quickly closing face.

                I recently made myself a weighted club. It is exactly the same length as my gamer driver (44 inches), and about 10 grams heavier. It has a slightly higher swing weight, but overall, it feels very similar to my driver when I swing it. The weight on the end is just a brass cylinder, about 1.5 inches long and 1.5 inches diameter is my guess. I drilled a hole in it and epoxied it to a spare shaft I had. I then reinforced it with a few wraps of duct tape and aluminum tape. The radar picks up the round object very well and I get some really consistent swing speeds now. I know for sure it is not giving me a rotating toe, or getting heal, or anything, it is giving me at worse, the very end of the cylinder which is almost exactly the location from the grip end to the center of the face on my gamer driver.

                So, for my little experiment, I have been able to swing my choked up wedge full out at 103 mph. With my formula, that puts me at an estimated swing speed with my gamer of 128.5 mph. Last night, after the glue in my weighted club was dry, I swung a half dozen times cold and reached 128 mph, and averaged exactly 125 mph . I think I could get it up to over 130 mph warmed up, and average closer to 128 mph. Of course, this weighted club cuts through the air slightly better, so I would imagine in the end, after I am warmed up, I can max out with my gamer at right around that estimated 128.5 mph.

                Essentially, this proves that my formula is very valid (for me at least), and could very well be for you. Now I just have to keep practicing so I can hit the sweet spot as well full bore as I can with my wedge.

                I still plan to bug the pro I have contacted so I can show his results too. I am betting they will further validate this.

                Comment


                • #15
                  Update again:

                  So my pro kind of fell through. He didn't follow directions very well and I didn't get the information I needed from him. Stinks. If there are more people that are following this thread and want to give this theory a go please PM me. I would love to get more real world examples. I know not everyone is as excitable when it comes to a raw statistic like max swing speed like I am, but for those of you that are, I would love to help you out.

                  Comment

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